DISCUSSION: Earlier this morning, as a strengthening Tropical Storm Georgette contined moving over warmer ocean water across the Central Pacific Ocean coupled with relatively weaker atmospheric vertical wind shear, there was a great opportunity for this tropical storm to blossom. Being over a region characterized by such favorable conditions, this tropical storm grew into an intense tropical cyclone which reached a maximum intensity of 135 MPH (i.e., a Category 4 Hurricane according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale). Despite the fact that a currently weakening Hurricane Georgette (which is still maintaining itself as a Category 2 Hurricane), this tropical cyclone is not any threat to land aside from some wave action along parts of Southern Cailfornia and the western side of the Baja Peninsula.
It is interesting to note the impressive storm-relative axisymmetry (i.e., the gorgeous structure associated with the spiraling of the coldest cloud tops as indicated by the infrared satellite image included below) despite its particularly small size. This is indicative of a very intense and tightly-wrapped core circulation which fortunately will not affect any land areas directly in any way. To learn more about other high-impact weather events from across the Central/Eastern Pacific Ocean, be sure to click here!
Paradise To Be Slammed By Tropical Storm Darby (credit: US National Weather Service Honolulu & Central Pacific Hurricane Center)
DISCUSSION: Previously a hurricane near Baja California that has since weakened, Tropical Storm Darby is making its way to majorly disrupt paradise in Hawaii this weekend and early next week. The center of this tropical storm is currently about 390 miles away from Hilo on the Big Island with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph. With the system moving westward at about 12 mph, Darby is expected to pass near the Big Island and Maui County Saturday and Saturday night, respectively, then move northwestward come Sunday. Consequently, the National Weather Service has issued a Tropical Storm Warning (meaning tropical storm conditions are to be expected within 36 hours) for the Big Island and a Tropical Storm Watch (tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours) for Maui County, as shown in the graphic below (courtesy of US National Weather Service Honolulu & Central Pacific Hurricane Center).
While Darby’s center may not pass by the Big Island until Saturday, habitants of the Island and surrounding waters will face potentially damaging surf along the coastlines today, heavy rain that may result in flash floods and mud and rock slides as early as Friday evening, and tropical storm force winds (winds greater than 39 mph) Saturday. The tropical storm is not forecasted to weaken as it approaches Hawaii and throughout the weekend, so residents should prepare as soon as possible! To read about other tropical cyclones stories, click here!